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South African People

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South Africa is a lively mixture of different cultures. We have 11 official languages including Zulu, Xhosa, Sepedi, Tswane, Venda, Ndebele, Sotho, English, Afrikaans, Siswati, Tsonga. But don't worry- mostly everybody can speak and understand english so you wont have any trouble communicating!

South Africa has a population of 44.8 million

South African people have a great love for music and singing There is a popular theory that if a mother carrys a baby on her back- the baby's head is pushed up right against the mother's back, and he/she hears the steady beat of the mothers heart. This helps to develop a childs natural rythem and song abilities.

Baby and Mamma
By carrying their babies close to their hearts- African mothers help develop their childrens natural rhythm in song and dance.

In South Africa if you are slightly on the large side (or have lots of luscious curves) you are considered to be very beautiful.

An African man can have more then one wife, depending on whether he can afford it or not. When a man wants to marry a women, their parents get together and discuss how much he will pay for her. This is called Labola. Traditionally men pay for their wife with cows. The average women is worth about 10 cows. If you are clever and have studied at University, you may be worth over 25 cows.

Cows are used to pay Labola
How many cows would you pay for your wife?

Most South African people live in communities. Most small villages will have a chief who will see over the welfare of the village. Whenever there is a problem- members of the community call upon the chief of the village to deliberate over discussions.

African people traditionally have large families. In most cultures cousins are considered to be brothers or sisters. Often when a married man dies- his brother takes on responsibility for his widow and children. It is not unheard of, that if your sister cannot have children and you have many, you may give her one of yours.


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